The Reason I Jump

2018 Events

I performed at a theatrical production by the National Theatre of Scotland in Glasgow. It was a production of The Reason I Jump, based on a book about autism by the Japanese writer Naoki Higashida. The fantastic cast included performers with autism. It was an innovative production that involved monologues, masques (with music and narration) and a final play with all performers. The venue was the North Kelvin Meadow and Children’s Wood and included a maze designed by renowned Dutch collective Observatorium.

The trailer video can be viewed here: 

Experience Japan 2018

This year Junshi and I were joined by accordion player, Rie Maruyama.

World Shakuhachi Festival 2018

The World Shakuhachi Festival took place at Goldsmiths College in London from August 1-4, 2018. There was an amazing choice of workshops and talks. They included a workshop on the chromatic shakuhachi by Zac Zinger, the use of shakuhachi in rock and jazz by Cornelius Boots. The workshops by shakuhachi players who are composers were well attended and included Brooklyn Sanya by James Nyoraku Schlefer, Bosatsu by Michael Chikuzen Gould and Loons by Elizabeth Brown. Some of my favourite performances included Fukuda Rando’s ‘Watazumi no Iroko no Miya’ by Furuya, Kakizakai and Matama, ‘Roots and Branches’ by John Kaizan Neptune and the solo performances of Kurahashi Yodo and Zenyoji Keisuke at the opening concert.  The festival also contained Minyo performances and workshops.

I gave a talk on urushi, in particular the contribution of John James Quin to the research of Japanese lacquer. My workshop on Irish music was well attended and great craic was had by all! I also gave a poster presentation at the conference which preceded the festival at SOAS. My research title was “Spies, assassins and lovers: the depiction of shakuhachi-weilding characters in ukiyoe prints”.